In Vanda's Room

Pedro Costa, Portugal/Germany/Italy/Switzerland, 2000, 35mm, 178 min

Sponsored by KBCS 91.3 fm

Costa’s superlative documentary/fiction hybrid IN VANDA’S ROOM gives viewers a close-up look at the lives of slum dwellers in Lisbon, as the saying goes, warts and all. “The film is the extraordinary portrait of Vanda, a young drug user from Fontainhas, the Cape Verdian quarter of Lisbon. Costa shot the film with a very small digital video camera, allowing him to meet his subject face-to-face, and it’s hard to say whether or not Vanda was even aware of the camera’s presence. While initially intending to stay within the confinements of Vanda’s room, the filmmaker finally decided to include the rest of the quarter and to complete the study of ‘another way of living’ with the inhabitnts of Fontainhas. Thus, he creates a seemingly impossible equilibrium between what lies in front of and what lies behind the camera." -Viennale 2005

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